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Oooooh....How deep is your cut?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
.....I really neeeeeeed to know?

Sorry for that momentary lapse into BeeGee's territory. My question actually refers to scoring a pork butt. How deep?

With a small 4 pound butt, I went around 1/2 inch but with the 9 pounder, my cuts ranged from 1/2 to full inch deep, with 3/4 being average. This being my first butt, I just guessed. I really should have asked BEFORE I started but it was late.

post #2 of 19
no real science to it, just get through the first layer of fat into the next layer of fat, should be good
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Capt. Dan - I figured it wasn't an exact thing and that's why I just kinda guessed. But I'm not sure I understand the "next layer of fat" Can you elaborate a bit? I was late last night and I kinda just did it and didn't really pay attention to the meat/fat layers. If you had to estimate, how deep do you cut?
post #4 of 19
most butts have a false cap and then another cap below. There is a thin layer of meat in between that is about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick( my favorite piece to eat while pulling the pork apart by the way). I don't know if there is a proper way to score a butt. I just started doing it a while back on my own as an experiement. This is what they look like when I do them.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks capt dan. that pic helped. it looks like one should cut down pretty deep. I'm not sure I went down to the cap underneath. I hope it's still ok. Do you score the butt all the way around or just the fat cap?
post #6 of 19
Just the cap, and some guys don't score em, its a preference thing. It also helps to know what kind of smoker you are using. If it is an offset orECB, I think I wouldn't bother with the scoring, and do them cap down instead.
post #7 of 19
I usually do 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Remember as it cooks it will appear to tear a part more.

Capt Dan, this is fat cap down. Remember the scoring allows for more area for the rub to reach, so doesn't matter if fat cap up or down. More flavor and more bark.
post #8 of 19
so you score the whole thing then ?
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm using an offset and I did score the whole thing. I made sure to rub inside the cuts too. I think the butt is at this fabled "plateau" cuz it's been sitting at 140* for a while now.
post #10 of 19
Any more word on this topic. I am doing a butt tomorrow night and am thinking of trying to score it.

I have a GOSM and was thinking of cooking it fat cap down and only scoring what would then be the top. My main concern is the shoulder drying out because of the extra exposure. Please let me know how it worked out for you.
post #11 of 19
Like Capt said it's a matter of personal preference..I use an offset and don't score mine and fat cap down..turns out great...try it different ways until you find what you like best.
post #12 of 19
Yep, thats the way it worked best for me when I used the silver charcoal smoker. Even with the mods, the cap down was a nice way to keep temp spikes from drying out the butts!
post #13 of 19
Ditto..that's why I started doing them this way
post #14 of 19
Let me add this, Most folks don't score their pork butts, some ding dong on here started doing it, then he preached about it and then it started to catch on. It does look kinda cool, and has its advantages( I have heard), but it is by no means a standard way of smoking pork butts, at least not yet anyways!cool.gif
post #15 of 19
I assume this was for me? No, I only do the top and sides somewhat. With fat cap down, I use the cap as an insulator from the heat below. If I cut it on the cap, heat would penetrate more and possible dry out the meat.....atleast thats my thoughts on this.
post #16 of 19
Now I have a friend with an offset and he refuses to try fat cap down, only up. Personally I can see UP on an offset since heat is too the side. I do fat cap down due to me using a vertical and I seem to get better bark this way.
post #17 of 19
questions........i am going to assume that scoring is cutting into the fat cap. am i right?
also, the butts i have done didnt have a fat cap on them. is there is need to score then?
post #18 of 19
Scoring is cutting into the meat. Is it necessary, no. Again it is to allow for more surface area of meat for rub to cover and flavor.
Don't see many butts or shoulders around here without a fat cap confused.gif
post #19 of 19
What he said.
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